Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)


The thesis analyzes the first decade of experience with the principle of the responsibility to protect (R2P), in order to evaluate the status of the R2P principle in contemporary international law. The R2P principle is an important topic because its meaning, as well as its effect, continues to be debated in international law. The thesis examines state practice within the United Nations and beyond after the articulation of the R2P principle in 2001. The analysis includes detailed case studies relevant to R2P: Darfur, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire and Syria. The thesis argues that the R2P principle has not significantly changed international law because state practice continues to exhibit serious disagreements about and problems with the substance and implementation of the R2P principle. These disagreements and problems are most explicit in the context of international law on military intervention to address long-scale atrocities. Further, the controversies surrounding the R2P principle mirror the same disagreements in international law concerning humanitarian intervention before the R2P principle emerged, demonstrating that the R2P principle has not changed international law in any significant way.


This dissertation has been embargoed at the request of the author effective May 11, 2016.

Available for download on Friday, July 19, 2024